A year after UF’s campus shut down due to COVID-19, the university’s first in-person socially distanced live music event marked a return to normalcy.
Student Government Productions, an SG-funded agency that pays entertainers to perform at UF, hosted its first socially distanced concert Friday featuring indie rock bands Mt. Joy and flipturn. The event was held at Flavet Field at 7 p.m. Friday and was free to all registered students.
At the concert, students sat and danced in small groups of up to six people inside about 180 distanced pods. Each of the pods was enclosed with metal fencing.
Clara Savardi was thrilled as she walked out of Flavet Field with a group of friends at the end of the show. She was thankful to be able to enjoy good music, do something fun and release some stress, given that she didn’t get to enjoy a Spring Break this year.
“I was able to experience good music and hang out with my friends in a safe environment, so it really was a win-win,” the 21-year-old UF biology senior said.
Masks were enforced throughout the entire concert. It is unclear how much money SGP paid the bands, and The Alligator submitted public records requests for their contracts.
The band COIN was initially scheduled to perform in the event, but its concert was canceled due to “unforeseen circumstances” and replaced by flipturn’s performance. COIN’s concert will be rescheduled to a later date, according to the SGP Facebook page.
SGP chair Adrian Badenjki did not answer The Alligator’s emails asking why COIN did not perform and exactly how many people attended the event Friday.
Cody Paddack, a 19-year-old UF political science sophomore, was excited to safely experience live music again and enjoyed the pairing of the bands.
“I am someone who has been off-campus for a while for COVID, and I was really appreciative that they made it safe to come back to campus for this,” she said.
Contact Carolina Ilvento at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @CarolinaIlvento.
Carolina is a second-year journalism major with a minor in sustainability. In the past, she covered stories and events for WUFT, and she is now reporting on Student Government for The Alligator. Carolina loves to do yoga and go to the beach whenever she isn't writing.